International recording artist, actress and reality TV star Dolores Janney Rivera, better known as Jenni Rivera, died in a plane crash in December 2012 at the age of 43. For the 2 years preceding her tragic death, Jenni Rivera was actively working on developing her own brand of tequila. The limited edition range of 100% agave tequilas has now arrived in the U.S. Like the young diva's voice, the tequila is a thing of beauty.
The Mexican-American artist chose to make her namesake spirits—Jenni Rivera La Gran Señora 100% de Agave Tequila—at Destiladora Del Valle de Tequila [NOM 1438] in the town of Tequila. The agaves used in production are cultivated in the Lowlands of Jalisco. After harvesting, they are brought to the distillery and slowly cooked in traditional brick ovens. The baked agaves are then shredded and transferred to vats where they are fermented over the course of 5 to 7 days. Naturally occurring yeast is used to precipitate fermentation. The fermented wash is then double-distilled in a traditional pot still and bottled at 40% alcohol (80 proof).
The portfolio leads off with Jenni Rivera La Gran Señora Blanco 100% de Agave Tequila, a fresh and exuberant tequila bottled fresh from the still. The crystal clear tequila has a lively bouquet of citrus, pears, pepper and tropical fruit. Its brilliant aromatics are thoroughly captivating and capably set the stage for what's to come. The gentle entry raises little heat as it quickly expands filling the mouth with the flavors of lemon zest, black pepper, cinnamon, baked agave and fresh red fruit. The finish is long and spicy.
The Jenni Rivera Reposado is matured for a minimum of 6 months in American white oak barrels. The tequila has a pale amber/golden hue, a lightweight, velvety textured body and a wafting floral and herbal nose with vanilla, herbal and floral notes. The entry quickly bathes the palate with the tantalizing and skillfully balanced flavors of coffee, caramel, dried fruit, cinnamon, vanilla and powdered cacao. The long, warm and slightly spicy finish reveals an added touch of mint and toasted oak.
The capstone of the range is Jenni Rivera Añejo. Aged in American white oak for 18 months, the tequila features woody, spicy and fruity aromas and the lingering flavors of caramel, toffee, vanilla, cinnamon, chocolate and toasted oak.
These tequilas make a most fitting tribute. ¡Salud!